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On Kingship and Tyranny: Grosseteste’s Memorandum and its Place in the Baronial Reform Movement

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Abstract

On Friday 13 May 1250, Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln, stood before Pope Innocent IV and the college of cardinals at the papal court at Lyons. Grosseteste had identified several abuses that were damaging to the Church and posed a danger to souls. His chief complaint was against the archbishop of Canterbury, Boniface of Savoy, who was attempting to levy uncustomary procurations, that is, payments from the clergy to support a visitation of the archdiocese. When it was put to Grosseteste by some of the cardinals that Boniface was entitled to the procurations by canon law, the bishop appealed to...